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Tight security, gridlock in Benin ahead of Oba’s coronation


Eheneden Erediauwa

Eheneden Erediauwa

Maor roads around Ovonramwen Square, Urokpota Hall and palace ground have been closed to traffic ahead of the Oba of Benin’s coronation.

The Edo State commissioner of police, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, who disclosed this in Benin City to newsmen yesterday, said while the command would provide 5,000 of its personnel for the coronation, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) would assist in securing the city with 300 personnel.

Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole says the coronation is historic. This is because it will be the first time an elected governor and an indigene of the state will perform the formality of presenting the staff of office to His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin, stressing that only military administrators and foreigners had done so in the past.

Speaking while receiving the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright at the Government House, the governor said: “Before this Oba, the other Obas but one, I believe Oba Akenzua, was the one who had to be presented the staff of office, according to him, by the Queen of England a couple of years ago in 1933.

“Since then, I think the next Oba was crowned in 1979, and then Nigeria was already an independent country and the state was under military rule and the staff of office was presented by a military governor.

“Thursday will be the first time that an elected governor will have the pleasure, and somebody from Edo State, to formally present the staff of office to His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin.”

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